VMworld 2014 – Day 1

Tuesday in Barcelona is when things really get going. First up on everyone's schedule is the VMworld keynote. This is one of times when attendees get to hear from Pat Gelsinger (VMware's CEO) and a number of other presenters and get an overview of the direction in which VMware are going. It's also when the major product announcements are officially made. Historically, VMworld Europe is usually the time when management product updates are announced (with some of the more infrastructure based updates happening at the US conference). It's been slightly different this year I suppose since there was no major update to the core vSphere platform, but there was EVO:RAIL. During the keynote, announcements were made about: vRealize … [Read more...]

VMworld Europe 2014 – Looking forward…

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It's October now and it means that VMworld Europe 2014 is right around the corner. I'll be attending in Barcelona for what will be my 4th VMworld. It will be the first time that I've ever attended under a full conference pass rather than just as a blogger. However, I don't expect the experience to be hugely different. Perhaps in the general sessions the view will be slightly different but that's about it. My employer, Xtravirt, is sending a number of my colleagues along with me to VMworld this year. Whilst we're all very different people working on different projects, we generally have fairly complementary skillsets and a passion for what we do. Speaking just for myself, I'm really looking forward to VMworld. Like my children's … [Read more...]

vCO 5.5.2 released

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Such a minor update (from 5.5.1), why should I bother to write about this? Well, for two reasons really. Complete support of Dynamic Types. I've been doing some work with these on a current project and the potential is pretty fantastic. vCenter Server plugin enhancement. The property collector is now used to return vCenter Server object properties instead of the inventory service. If you follow the Orchestrator communities forum, you'll probably already know that the inventory service cause quite a few people some problems. If you want to know more about Dynamic types, look at this blog post and this example on the vCOTeam blog site. Download vCO 5.5.2 here. Release notes are here. … [Read more...]

vCAC 6.1 goes GA

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Ping! It's baked and out of the oven at last. vCAC 6.1 has hit a download server near you. I've been waiting for this for a while now, so what's new? From my perspective some of the most interesting new bits are: Tighter Puppet integration Enhanced support for NSX (including the use of NSX / vCNS workflows as actions in the vCAC Advanced Service Designer) - I need to try this out! vCenter Orchestrator plugin enabled scripting of entities including Catalog, Approvals, Entitlements, Advanced Service Designer etc (I've wanted this for a while now) vCAC support for Windows Server 2012 SP1 R2 (.NET 4.5.1) But there's plenty more (see the Release Notes). … [Read more...]

vCO “Plugin” for NSX

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If you're starting to get your hands dirty with NSX and want to automate some operations using vCenter Orchestrator (vCO), there's now a plugin for it that's been released into the community by Christophe Decanini (who writes on the vCOTeam blog and works for VMware). It's not a traditional plugin for vCenter Orchestrator in the same way that there are plugins for vCenter / vCAC / Infoblox etc. Instead it's built on the Dynamic Types plugin that was launched with version 5.5 Update 1 of vCO. The goal of the plugin is to create the ability to offer NSX "as-a-service" operations as catalog items within vCAC. The creation and manipulation of security groups and policies along with the ability to associate VMs with these objects can all … [Read more...]

vSpecialist Labs: Roadmap

Part Two - Roadmap In the hardware post for the vSpecialist Labs, we listed the hardware we have to play with to construct the Lab. Now is the challenge of what to do with it. Here is a scratch list of the projects we will be running in the Labs over the coming months. Status: Testing (T), Research (R), Proof-of-Concept (POC), Evaluation (E). Infrastructure / vSphere: - ghettoVCB VM backups (T) - ESXi Hardening using host profiles (T) - Cisco UCS Platform Emulator v2.0 deployment and configuration (T) (E) - vCenter Orchestrator appliance (T) - Integrating vCenter Orchestrator appliance with Cisco UCS platform emulator (T) (E) - vCenter Operations (E) vCloud Director: - Multi-site vCloud Director configuration … [Read more...]

vCenter Orchestrator Silent Install

Article by Michael Poore (@mpoore) Is it possible to install vCO on a Windows server silently? Yes. If you have the EXE file (DVDDrive:\vCenter-Server\vCO\vCenterOrchestrator.exe) available on the server then installing is as simple as: It takes a few seconds to complete but at the end of it the vCO Configuration service is present and running: Of course that's just installing vCO, it's not configured - that's still to be done (see my earlier article on configuring vCO). So, what's the point of doing such an install then? Where's the benefit? If you look at vCO's Configuration Maximums it's not entirely obvious is it? Item Maximum Connected vCenter Server systems 10 Connected ESX/ESXi … [Read more...]

Install vCenter Orchestrator on a Dedicated Server

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Article by Michael Poore (@mpoore) The binaries for vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) come bundled alongside vCenter Server and are installed by default when vCenter is installed. But what if, and it's probably a better practice, you want to install vCO on a separate server to vCenter. How's that done? Before running through that, first let's cover requirements. vCO server components must be installed on a 64-bit Windows OS. The client component can happily sit on 32-bit. The minimum recommended RAM is 4GB but in a lab or non-production environment you can get away with less depending on if the database is co-located or not. … [Read more...]

Configuring vCenter Orchestrator

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Article by Michael Poore (@mpoore) vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) is a no charge extra for vCenter Server owners. In fact the binaries are installed alongside vCenter Server itself. This post covers what you need to configure vCO and start to use it. It's based on the GA release of vCenter 5.0. (Of course I should point out that other orchestration products are available.) … [Read more...]